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Sonic Frontiers

Takashi Iizuka explains why Sonic Frontiers will still run well on the Nintendo Switch

The versatility of the Hedgehog Engine should (hopefully) result in a smooth experience.

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Soon Sonic is going on yet another high-speed adventure in Sonic Frontiers. Being the first game in the series releasing on the current generation of consoles, Sonic Team has opted for a more ambitious design featuring huge "open zones" you are free to explore as you like.

At the same time, the game is still releasing for the older consoles Xbox One and PS4, and is even getting a simultaneous release on the, in terms of hardware at least, humble Nintendo Switch.

During a press event we got a chance to ask Takashi Iizuka, producer on the Sonic series, about the challenges of delivering across such a wide spectrum of platforms. While he admits it's certainly no easy feat, he is also confident that their proprietary Hedgehog Engine will be up for the job.

"It is extremely challenging to develop on this incredibly wide spectrum of hardware. But the good thing is we are using the Hedgehog Engine," says Iizuka-san. "The Hedgehog Engine is an internally developed engine we have been using since Sonic Generations, and we have been updating it since 2010 when the game was in development, to really make sure that multiplatform development is as easy as it can be. And we have been working on polishing all of those multiplatform abilities and capabilities of the engine. And as we saw with Sonic Forces, yes, we were able to deliver a game across not only the very low-end spec machines, but also the high-end spec machines."

While running 30fps and with a lower resolution compared to their high-end counterparts, Sonic Team still aims to deliver a comparable experience on last-gen consoles and Nintendo Switch.

"Our artists are making tons of content at very high levels, and if you got this great and amazing high-spec PC, that's great. But we also want to make sure, that people who are playing on the Nintendo Switch have the same experience. So, we are not necessarily using the same high-end assets, but the Hedgehog Engine is able to reduce it to a size were it's going to look very comparable on a Nintendo Switch, as it is to a high-end PC," Iizuka-san explains.

We will have to wait until November 8 to find out how the Switch version actually holds up, but as family friendly games as Sonic are extremely popular on the platform, we can definitely imagine that Sonic Team has spent a lot of time making sure this particular version doesn't fall to far behind in terms of performance.

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Sonic Team has tried their hand at reinventing the blue hedgehog's formula, and we've checked out how the end result has stacked up.



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